Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Ms Marmite's Aubergines

Aubergine Parmesan - Healthy Comfort Food

So the Ms Marmite Supper Club cookery book recently ended up in my grubby mitts and I have been pouring over the delightful recipes + meal ideas, and getting far too tempted to try my own supper club, as the book also comes with lots of helpful and practical information and advice on how to do one yourself.

Note to the previous post about living in a some what dismal shared flat is one of the main reasons against attempting this, the other would be the fact I have no living room, so me flailing about trying to make gourmet food would be in full view of all my guests.

Anyway, dreams of supper clubs aside, I thought I'd try out what appeared to be one of the less impressive but more hearty and still delicious meals from the book, Aubergine Parmesan. Since making this I have seen various versions of the recipe in numerous publications, so people with more culinary knowledge than me must also agree with my opinion that it's more impressive than it initially looks.

It's strange I have taken so strongly to this recipe as for years and years I have simply refused to eat aubergine, now I see I was in the folly of youth and am setting about correcting the error of my ways. However as I was unacquainted with aubergine when I started making this dish after looking at the pretty picture and ingredients list I hadn't quite realised how long it was going to take, therefore plans to have drinks out that evening sadly had to be cancelled.

You first have to sweat the aubergines (this is pretty ironic as really its going to be you sweating after you've fried all of them). They must be sliced thinly and covered in salt to release their excess water content. I layered mine in a colander with kitchen towel.
It says to leave them for half an hour to an hour, I quickly got bored and patted them with kitchen towel to get them as dry as possible. I was AMAZED however at how much water had come out of them.
They must then be floured and seasoned before frying in hot oil. (this is the bit where you get sweaty)

I have to toot my own trumpet here, and say I make a pretty neat tomato sauce, which is the only other essential part of this meal. well apart from the excessive amounts of cheese.
A chunky tomato sauce is layered, fried aubergine slices, and then another layer of tomato sauce. Partly for flavour reasons, partly because I had fried too much aubergine and didn't know what else to do with it, i included a top layer of aubergine before a (not so) healthy dose of cheese - parmesan and I used *cough* cheddar *cough* because I couldn't afford anything else.

It bakes in the over for about 45 minutes and comes out bubbling, all glorious melted cheese and bright reds oozing underneath. Whilst cheese isn't top of most diet lists, the lack of carbs in the meal win points for me and thus i'll class it as healthy eating. Wintery food too often includes mounds and mounds of carbs and heavy food, but this was heathy and delicious without seeming stodgy.

Recommended. Perhaps i'll serve it at my first supper club.



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